The Houston Texans took a chance on Ed Reed this past offseason, inking a three-year deal worth $15 million. He has since been released due to lack of production and some harsh words regarding his team and coach.
Regardless of these recent happenings, Reed is still one of the most decorated safeties in the entire history of the NFL.
He has had Pro Bowls, All-Pro honors and a Super Bowl during his career with the Baltimore Ravens and has garnered the respect of coaches and players throughout the league—including New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. For years, there was mutual admiration between the safety and coach, but when he was available this past offseason, no moves were made.
Now, with Reed virtually a free man again, it seems like this is the perfect opportunity to make this marriage happen. Even though Reed has to go through the waiver process, there's still a good chance he could make it to free agency. Reed is extremely athletic and versatile, making him a solid fit in the Patriots' defense, but one must question how much he has in the tank.
Even last year during the Ravens' Super Bowl run, Reed had times where he didn't look himself; it was a missed tackle here or there and a notable decline in speed. Still, even when Reed is not his best, he's still better than a lot of guys in the NFL. Especially with the Pats being without Steve Gregory, Reed would add depth even as a situational player.
While this all sounds good and nice, the most important factor is whether or not Reed can keep with his reputation of being a game-changing player, and frankly it just doesn't look like he can.
He's on pace for his worst year statistically and simply looks as if he has lost a step. He has started only five of the seven games he has played for the Texans this year and has recorded only 16 tackles with zero interceptions.
If Reed's production has really waned that dramatically, then New England should just stick to its backup safety Tavon Wilson. Although he has started only five games for the Patriots during his rookie season in 2012, he has recorded 41 tackles and four interceptions. He doesn't nearly have the same decorated history as Reed, but at this point he looks like a better option.
That being said, he's not the only option. If New England is that pressured to get a veteran safety as a stop-gap solution, then my vote would be for Kerry Rhodes. It's comes as a big surprise that he remains a free agent, especially after having one of his best years in 2012 with the Arizona Cardinals.
When it comes down to it, the likelihood of Reed signing with the Patriots just doesn't make sense. He's not what they need, and frankly the Patriots defense has done well so far without major pieces like Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo, so they should be just fine without Gregory. Even if they did want to bring in another safety, they have better options.
Sorry, Mr. Reed, it's time to hang 'em up.